Published online Aug 26, 2019. doi: 10.4252/wjsc.v11.i8.548
Peer-review started: February 20, 2019
First decision: June 5, 2019
Revised: June 26, 2019
Accepted: July 17, 2019
Article in press: July 17, 2019
Published online: August 26, 2019
Core tip: Liver fibrosis is a major global health problem, for which no efficient therapy is available. Cell therapy, particularly involving human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (known as hUC-MSCs), represents a promising therapeutic strategy, based mainly on the cells’ paracrine effects, transdifferentiation capacity and immunomodulatory function. In this review, we discuss the characteristics of hUC-MSCs, focusing on the possible mechanisms of these cells to ameliorate liver fibrosis, based upon evidence from in vitro and in vivo studies as well as ongoing clinical trials. This review also includes a discussion of the current status of the field and its future prospects.